Survey: What words and phrases would you banish from sustainable finance discussions?

RI is creating its very first exclusion list, for Digifest 2020

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I’ve written before about overused words and meaningless phrases in the ESG industry. In fact, I know some who would call “ESG” one of them. The journalists at RI all have pet hates: “This is an evolution, not a revolution”; “sustainable” when it’s really just “green”; “impact” when it’s really just… well, nothing. “We are ESG pioneers – demonstrated by the fact we’ve signed up to the PRI” (no offense to the PRI with that last one, but I’m sure they would agree that membership isn’t an automatic proxy for leadership).

Mine is currently “ESG is in our DNA”. It is remarkable how many corporates and asset managers have taken DNA tests over the past two years. And it turns out they're all related. It also turns out many of them still invest in sin stocks and don’t vote for climate resolutions but, hey, this is an evolution, not a revolution, right?

This month, we are hosting an online, week-long, ESG jamboree – RI Digifest 2020. Thousands of people in the industry will come together between 15th and 19th of June for debates, keynotes, Q&As, pub quizzes, gigs and more.

And we want to know which words and phrases you want to banish from the discussions.

For the next two weeks, we will be collecting your thoughts on vocabulary that you think is overused, misused, meaningless or even unhelpful (non-financial, anyone?) and we will make a shortlist of the most (un)popular nominations and pass them on to all our Digifest speakers.

The survey is included below. All suggestions will be taken, comments are welcome, and submissions are anonymous unless you want to identify yourself. So please, after more than a decade of writing about other people’s exclusion lists, help us come up with one of our very own.